Tour de Ink

typerror's picture

Several of us toil away with pens, brushes and other "wet" tools. We have varying associations with BCP's at different points in time.

Whether it is slick or rough, type or titling all of us ply our trade with a firm background in having made letters by hand for many years. The computer is just another tool used in the process as opposed to the genesis.

We just thought we would put up a WIDE variety of takes on the alphabet.

This piece is by Gerard Huerta. He will throw in on this tomorrow. What is important is that the "script" began as a refined pencil that was illuminated later on the computer. I think I have one of his last inked pieces of lettering.

I figured since Gerard went slick I would go abstract in the first round to give contrast. A clock conceived around the letter S (very loosely based on Versals from the 12th century.

More to come from others and we hope you will join in if you see fit. Hopefully we can show the diversity of the hand writ form.

Michael

Stephen Rapp's picture

Nice stuff Michael.

Here is a piece of lettering that was part of a greeting card design. It was written with a #3 Scharff pointed sable brush on vellum.

Graham McArthur's picture

Nice work from Michael and Stephen. This one was originally drawn many years ago in the mid 80's, with a biro on a restaurant napkin at lunch and then re-lettered with a pointed brush (Windsor & Newton series 7 # 3) on 3 ply Bristol Board. I used it for my personal logo for a few years. A group of us were looking through a new calligraphy book at the time and this piece was inspired by the work of Jean Larcher, I think (poor memory).
Later when I turned to the dark side (computers) I redrew it in Freehand.

typerror's picture

Shedding serifs but has not matured into a Sans.

Michael

Graham McArthur's picture

These retain their serifs, not yet corrupted into sans.

typerror's picture

Graham

Nib on the Roman? And how big is the original?

Michael

tearsforsappho's picture

How beautiful. You know, I may be digital by profession, but there is nothing compared to the texture of pigment on paper/canvas.

Stephen Rapp's picture

Another inkwell logo. This is from about 5 years ago I think. Graham's version is nicer, but where I work we get about 2 hours to design a logo, so its hit or miss. This one is obviously brush drawn.

Nick Shinn's picture

This is a great-looking thread with lots of lovely visuals, and it looks good with Sloop!
But please, files no wider than 590 pixels, to avoid the scrolling bar.

Another useful technique, to knock out the background:
1. Duplicate layer
2. Magic wand at zero tolerance, select and delete background of top layer.
3. Now delete background layer.
4. Save as .png

Graham McArthur's picture

Michael

Original was lettered with pointed brush and Chinese Stick Ink, cap height 30mm. 'V' was drawn in pencil and rendered in Freehand.

typerror's picture

Stephen, your inkwell looks empty! Fill it up and get to work ; ) Graham... although I can use a pointed pen, that style (Inkwell) has always befuddled me.

It is even more fun to do Katelynn.

Michael

Graham McArthur's picture

Michael said we would show variety. This one is in watercolour and the lettering was written with a pointed pen on watercolour paper about 40 x 30cm.

blank's picture

Michael, your de Samartine is probably my favorite calligraphic piece. I often leave that page of The Speedball Textbook flopped open on my drawing board.

Stephen Rapp's picture

Thanks Nick,

I didn't think you could delete the background layer in Photoshop, but maybe thats dependent on what kind of file it is. This one should fit anyway.

Its an unused logo concept I did about 8 years ago. The original was done on text wove paper with a ruling pen and ink.

Stephen

Mark Simonson's picture

I haven't hand-inked any of my lettering (final art) since before Illustrator 1.0, though I still start out with pen or pencil on paper. Hat's off to you guys.

typerror's picture

Many of us fell in love with the experimental ruling pen work of Fritz Poppl (noted type designer and lettering artist) years ago. This is a master for another of my clocks printed on brass, if memory serves, "O time devourer of all things." At least that is what the sheet said.

On the other side of the coin is a freer German piece "Who else if not us" (Wer wenn nicht wir?) also done with the same ruling pen.

Michael

typerror's picture

Hey Mark, want us to send you some ink?

Michael

Graham McArthur's picture

A combination of pointed pen and a tickle up with a pointed brush, the old trusty W&N Series 7 #3, with some help from Garamond.

typerror's picture

beautiful Graham... you are up late!!

And I loved the La Guitarra piece which also shows your illustrative abilities.

Michael

Graham McArthur's picture

Thank you Michael. I am a bit of a night owl, plus the Olympics are on, so thats enough reason to be up late.
This one is also a water colour with a ruling pen scribble in stick ink. Time consuming, but fun.

Stephen Rapp's picture

Mark,

If you've got pencil sketches those are always cool. I love to look at sketches showing the core behind a design.

Stephen

Stephen Rapp's picture

Here are a couple more jobs with pointed brush. One casual; part of a handout packet for the Typecon class; and the other going a bit weird for a Halloween card.

crossgrove's picture

A couple old ones, first with soft marker, second with rough brush

typerror's picture

Yay Carl! I was hoping you would spot this. You are a welcome addition to this. We have a couple more that are going to join in. Thank you so much and the work looks great!

I had tried unsuccessfully to e-mail you.
Michael

crossgrove's picture

contact form!

typerror's picture

I tried. It came back!

Michael

Nick Shinn's picture

I'm not much good with a brush, but here's some pen-work. I used a Rotring Art Pen 2.

Stephen Rapp's picture

Nick,
that's a realy cool way to play out that quote. Nice job!

typerror's picture

Nick and Carl reminded me where I got my start. La Operina, italic is my favorite style. For many it is what they cut their teeth on. A "trickily" thoughtful layout, very nice Nick.

A variation on the italic theme. Done with a Schaeffer pen. The fountain pens are great... Rotring made/makes one of the best.

Michael

Stephen Rapp's picture

Something a tad less elegant. Lettering I did a couple years back for the card shown. My boss later assigned me to make a font of this which, due to PS constraints, ended up being 4 fonts.

Graham McArthur's picture

Some really great work being posted. Carl's 'Trust' reminded me of this logo I did for a friend. He is an abstract painter. The marks made by the brush are similar in both pieces. In this case I used a very soft make up brush. My wife still doesn't know where her brush went. Make up brushes are wonderful lettering tools.

Gerard Huerta's picture

All you guys are amazing with your brushes and pens! I have to sketch with a pencil and what used to be a pen is now digital. But the pencil (drawing) has all of the info.

Zara Evens's picture

What a wonderful thread! Promoted to the Handpicked section on the home page.

david h's picture

freehand study:

Solt's picture

some doodles i did to test pens and styles:

Solt's picture

this one would make a nice carpet :-)

Graham McArthur's picture

Another hand lettered logo. A very simple solution (or not) more or less inspired by the hand painted signage that Eric Gill rendered.
The above has many flaws, but there are parts that I still like and it looks like it was done by hand.

Graham McArthur's picture

Everyone must be getting sick of me by now. I promise this will be the last post for a while. Obviously a pair. Pastel, ink and gouache on illustration board. All lettering written in gouache with broad edge and pointed pens.

I will now leave you in peace, at least for a few days.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Everyone must be getting sick of me by now.
Definitely not! Keep it coming, please.

typerror's picture

G'Night Graham! From upover ; )

As always, exceptional work.

Michael

BlueStreak's picture

This is a great idea. Thanks for posting it. It reminds me of the Letter Arts Review annuals which I've missed the last few years.

Very nice work.

Stephen Rapp's picture

A sample of my day-to-day work for greeting cards. I typically work from a planning sheet which shows layout, finishes, colors, a sketch of art, and a small reference to the lettering style they want. We used to be able to override the reference based on our own judgement, but now we must follow it more exactly.

The first sample is from one of our team members who has no training in lettering, but works kind of wild and loose. This is me copying his style. Its about double the actual printed size.

This next on I did today as a caption. I don't have a clue where the reference lettering came from.

Stephen

typerror's picture

Here is a logo rough page (I work on legal pads most of the time) where, having given myself room, I went back and added in the supporting type on the scan. It is for an artist out in California. Brushes, ruling pens and Speedball B nibs were used.

Michael

Gerard Huerta's picture

How about some animals made out of computer code?

Gerard Huerta's picture

Detail:

typerror's picture

Awesome!!!!!!

Michael

David Sudweeks's picture


My original sketches were drawn using soft pencil, half-inch tall or so caps.

peterf's picture

Lovely stuff!
I had the pleasure of attending the recent 2008 "Letters Mingle Souls" conference in Naperville (Chicago), with about 500 calligraphers. Nice to be around people who really love letters ;-)

Here's one of mine, done on a watercolor postcard, more or less doodling while sitting in the gardens of Alhambra, Granada in the fall of 2004... A few more odd things here: http://fraterdeus.com/lettering -- not really representative, just what has managed to get posted.

Pencil for the initial sketch, waterproof Rapidograph 3x0 and then watercolor.
The scan oversaturates the yellow at the top...

PF

http://typeandmeaning.com
nEwsletter: http://slowprint.com/slowprintnl
semiotx.com - Galena, Illinois

William Berkson's picture

Thanks for posting this wonderful work.

It's exciting to see how expressive and beautiful lettering can be when freed from the shackles of the demands of a font.

Charles_borges_de_oliveira's picture

Here is a roughed out version of a new script that I am working on. It is in the extreme rough stage. This one should have lots of alternates, ligatures and joining characters. This is a fun style to letter.

Hi Stephen & Michael!

-Charles Borges de Oliveira

Stephen Rapp's picture

Hi Charles,
I was hoping you would get a chance to put something up. That's coming along nicely, BTW.

Let's see........ you're gonna use some sort of fancy OT position lookups so it always types uphill? LOL

Have a great day.

Stephen

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